Over the past week, there have been several new events regarding the story in a book written by Barcelona president Joan laporta that Barcelona presidential candidate Sandro Rosell, in 2004, when he was sports vice-president of the club, wanted to sell Ronaldinho to Chelsea and cash a commission fee (read more here).
Speaking to Catalan radio station RAC 1, Laporta confirms the story: "I've only explained what I have lived. The reaction of Sandro Rosell has surprised me because I think it would have been a lot more honest to confirm what he has told me. He informed me that there was an offer from Chelsea of 100 millions and he indeed added that they were prepared to give a commission of 10 per cent.
He later told me about it a second time - as I explain in my book the first time was in Madrid, the second in Paris. I am sure because he spoke to me directly, there were no intermediaries. And now I have serious doubts about his intentions because it would have been normal that he would have confirmed the story saying that he had informed me but that he didn't want to do it.
But if he reacts like he is doing now, by lying, I start to think in another way than I did. I think that with this totally inappropriate way of reacting - and he knows that he is lying - I think one should start to think that he was not only mentioning the commission of 10 per cent to inform me.
It's true that from then on, our relationship wasn't the same anymore. I started to have serious doubts about his person and although he said 'I'm just telling you about it, nothing more' our relation deterioriated since that happened. It was in the spring of 2004 and you know what has happened afterwards.
Before he already wanted to throw out Rijkaard in December 2003. Then in June 2004, he wanted to throw out Rijkaard again, as well as Txiki. There were the transfers that summer, like that of Eto'o, when he had an irrational fear for Madrid because according to him mister Florentino Pérez would kill us or destroy us.
And then during the 2004-2005 season, he and four others directors were constantly going against all decisions taken by the board until they resigned just after winning the league and after a year of internal crisis due to their immature behaviour. They gave up and made clear that it would be the apocalypse from then on, but everyone can count the trophies we've won since then."
Laporta gives in a statement on his personal website a detailled report of how Rosell mentioned two times the commission fee offered by Chelsea, the first time in Madrid on 25 April, the second time the following month in Paris where Laporta and Rosell shortly met with Chelsea representatives in the Crillon hotel.
Laporta explains that at that time he thought that Rosell didn't want the sale to actually take place and that he was just informing him about the proposal, but that after Rosell's reaction now, it would look as if he did want to sell Ronaldinho and receive a commission fee:
"Now six years later, and having seen the reaction of mister Rosell, I feel that he certainly did want to close that deal. I say this because I don't understand that he has been denying what he told me back then, both in Madrid and Paris. I don't understand that he has issued a statement threatening with legal actions when the book makes it clear that he only informed me.
He knows perfectly well that what I have described above is true and has occurred. So why is he so nervous? Because mister Rosell lies? Today, after seeing his reaction, I am increasingly convinced that he didn't only want to inform me, but also wanted it to go through. If before I was angry about his attitude, today, as president of FC Barcelona, and as Barcelona fan, I am getting even more indignant because he dares to deny it."
A story about the case published two weeks earlier by British tabloid The Sun shows up in the Catalan press. In the report, a Chelsea spokesman denies that the English Premier League club has offered a commission fee and is quoted as saying: "It's total nonsense. We never made such an offer."
Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo claims that Chelsea wants Laporta to rectify what he has said in his book and has contacted Spanish law firm Garrigues. Laporta could next week be summoned through a letter to erase the references to the English club and their offer in the digital version of the book.
Other media have taken over the report. Catalan sports paper Sport claims that a notarial affidavit has been sent to Laporta asking to withdraw the book of the market. Spanish radio station Cadena Ser claims that Rosell could also summon Laporta to deny the story or even to withdraw the book.
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